Born and brought up in a small hill station, life had always been quite picturesque for me. Life seemed pleasant with family and friends at an arm’s distance. Happy times became happier with loved ones around and rough patches seemed bearable because of the same reason. I relocated to Mumbai city some 9 years ago post marriage, with a very apprehensive mind. I wasn’t very excited about the prospect of settling here. I had grown up to believe that life in a big city like Mumbai can be tough. Life is fast here, and people move around at a faster pace, and on most occasions especially during difficult times, consider yourself alone. Or so I thought until this city grew on me. Sharing a recent incidence that makes me grow fonder of this city.
My younger daughter had been unwell since Saturday and as the symptoms of fever, vomiting, and convulsive coughs worsened, I was forced to take her to the pediatrician’s clinic on Monday evening (3 days ago). As I waited for my turn in the clinic, I witnessed a fleeting moment of grace and goodness, that shall stay with me forever.
My pediatrician’s clinic is situated on one side of a big and busy traffic signal. If we wait outside on the veranda of the clinic, we can see mostly everything that is happening across the street. That day, I was waiting for my turn inside the clinic, with a clear view of the entrance, a patch of road and a car parked there. I was trying to keep my daughter calm because her mind associated clinics only with painful injections/vaccinations considering those were the only reasons why we had visited one, in the last 2 years (And for that I am extremely grateful to the almighty).
While I was struggling to contain her outburst, my eyes strayed away to the car parked on the road. A similar scene was happening inside the car as well. I could see a lady trying to appease a visibly cranky and sick baby. Her husband (I assumed) had just parked the car and was probably explaining something to their elder daughter (another assumption) who was jumping on the seat at the back. I smiled to myself realizing how similar our problems are.
Just then, I heard a loud sound —BAM!!!
Instinctively I knew that something or someone had met with an accident somewhere around the Traffic signal. I rushed outside; my girl wrapped in my arms. I could feel a searing dread within me, of a major road accident. I knew something bad had happened. I was right. A bike had crashed into an auto almost toppling it along. I did not know how the collision happened and whose mistake it was. All I could see was a lady crawling out of the auto, in a lot of pain, and in that same split-second scores of people crowding around the auto, blocking my view.
Standing on that veranda, I felt miserable and divided. With my own sick child clinging on to me, I wasn’t exactly in a position to help. Come to think of it, are we ever in a position to help? Always!
I grabbed my water bottle and holding my little one tightly in my embrace, started walking towards the signal. As I got closer, I soon realized water wasn’t needed anymore. Help had arrived, that too real time. A man had already offered the lady water and was escorting her to his car with the help of a teenager, who looked like the lady’s daughter. He was the same man who was talking to his daughter in the car parked in front of the clinic. The lady was crying in pain and shock. There wasn’t any blood on her clothes (thankfully) but she may have broken a bone or two.
I came back to the veranda and watched them settle the lady on the seat at the back. The man’s wife got off the car with her two daughters, and he drove the lady off to a nearby hospital. In the zero-sum of that moment, it occurred to me that I was witnessing an incredibly real display of humanity.
To be able proactively extend help in such a situation, is not something that comes naturally to most of us. We pause, reflect, hesitate, and mostly fail to do anything for a stranger.
But this normal family man, didn’t just run to offer help; He took the lady to the hospital when his own little one was sick. His wife walked in, carrying her sick baby with one hand and holding the hand of her elder daughter with the other. This is by far the most graceful walk my eyes have seen in a very long time. There wasn’t a hint of discomfort in that walk. It probably comes naturally to good people.
As she sat next to me, I couldn’t stop myself from initiating a talk. She narrated to me what my eyes had already seen before. The most striking aspect of the whole conversation was the simplicity and conciseness with which she told me everything. Through her I got to know that the lady and her daughter were not from Mumbai and had come for some family function. They were clueless about any hospital around.
I have met many a men and women. But this couple was different. Even though they believed that they did nothing more than offer help at the right time on the grounds of humanity, they do not realise that their act may have left an indelible impression on all those who were at the receiving end of that help and even some bystanders like me.
I do not know much about the way this world operates. But I do realize now that essentially people are good. It doesn’t matter whether you come from a small town or settle in a city like Mumbai. Goodness shall always find a way to reach you. The world isn’t such a bad place after all. Few good people are also enough.
Sharing this incident, with the intent of spreading a word about grace and goodness.